As Official Xbox Handheld Rumors Swirl, Phil Spencer Reveals What He Wants From It

As Official Xbox Handheld Rumors Swirl, Phil Spencer Reveals What He Wants From It

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Microsoft is heavily rumored to be preparing to release an official Xbox handheld, and while he stopped short of announcing it in a new interview, Xbox boss Phil Spencer went as far to say what he wants from it.

Speaking in an interview with Polygon, Spencer discussed various existing PC gaming handhelds, listing everything that he would add to the experience of using them to make them “feel like an Xbox.” This includes having access to all your games with associated save files, being able to boot into the Xbox app full-screen but in a compact mode, and having all the social experiences normally found on Xbox. “Like I want it to feel like the dash of my Xbox when I turn on the television,” Spencer said. “[Except I want it] on those devices.”

Spencer danced around the existence of an Xbox handheld throughout the interview, insisting hardware innovation linked with software innovation creates “real inflection points in our industry”, pointing to the success of the Nintendo Wii in the process.

Spencer then confirmed the Xbox hardware team is considering “different hardware form factors and things that [they] could go do”. “What should we build that will find new players?” Spencer added. “That will allow people to play at times when they couldn’t go play [in the past]?”

That sounds a lot like an Xbox handheld! Last year, leaked court documents revealed plans to create an Xbox handheld, although Spencer himself came out to say the plans were outdated. In February, Microsoft announced a multi-year roadmap that includes a next-generation Xbox in the future despite the company’s plan to go multi-platform with some of its games.

At the time, Xbox President Sarah Bond teased “some exciting stuff coming out in hardware” that Microsoft plans to share this holiday. Could this be the Xbox handheld? Microsoft has confirmed it plans an Xbox Showcase event for June 2024 — perhaps we’ll find out more then.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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